Jerry Sloan, legendary NBA coach, dead at 78

The man who guided the powerhouse Jazz teams of the 1990s has passed away.

Jerry Sloan died early Friday morning at the age of 78 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, the team announced.

“Jerry Sloan will always be synonymous with the Utah Jazz,” the franchise said in a statement. “He will forever be a part of the Utah Jazz organization and we join his family, friends and fans in mourning his loss. We are so thankful for what he accomplished here in Utah and the decades of dedication, loyalty and tenacity he brought to our franchise.”

Karl Malone had revealed on Monday that Sloan was “not doing well” and asked for prayers for his former coach.

The Hall of Famer retired in 2011 after 23 years at the helm in Utah, which came after a three-year stint as head coach of the Bulls. His teams had a record 1221-803, including a 1127-682 mark and 20 playoff appearances with the Jazz, who won a pair of Western Conference championships under his watch before falling to Michael Jordan’s Bulls in 1997 and 1998.

“Like [John] Stockton and Malone as players, Jerry Sloan epitomized the organization,” the team said. “He will be greatly missed. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Tammy, the entire Sloan family and all who knew and loved him.”

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